Educational Attainment and Social Class

In: Social Issues

Submitted By toriwatson97
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Pages 3
Outline and assess cultural explanations of social class differences in education and attainment. 50marks. Functionalism is a structuralist, top down (macro) theory, and the founding father of this was Emile Durkheim. Functionalists believe in things such as the organic analogy and meritocracy. An example of meritocracy would be where you move up to higher positions in the world. An example of an organic analogy is where society is compared to the human body, this would be where if you’re in a higher position then you are considered a heart and if you are in a lower class in society you are considered a toe nail. They believe in consensus within society and try to embrace that by sanctioning anyone who is in anomie and deviates away from what their norm is in one of two ways; formally or informally. Functionalists also believe that society positively influences the individual. Functionalists also support cultural deprivation theory where they believe that working class children fail in education because of their family background and that working class families do not prepare their children appropriately for school. Looking at attainment patterns from the Youth Cohort Study in 2002 it’s found that, at SATs level 7, 11 and 14 we can see the same routine, the higher the social class background, the better they should perform. It also showed that 77% of children who come from parents who are of higher professions get five or more GCSE’s grade A*-C. the Sutton Trust in 2008 found that class differences in attainment occurred in the early years of a child’s life. If a child from the working class background made it to A-Levels, the chances of going to university were the same as a child from an affluent family, however were less likely to go to a prestigious university. Marxists disagree with the functionalist perspective, they believe attainment is linked to…...

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